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September 26, 2023

Zelensky dismisses compromise with Putin, pointing to Prigozhin’s death

Zelensky's public remarks when commenting on the death of Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, often referred to as "Putin's chef," have been brief. In a statement to the press following Prigozhin's death in March 2021, Zelensky said that "Ukraine will continue to be guided by its fundamental principles — sovereignty and territorial integrity.” Zelensky's words indicated a dismissal of compromise with Putin on the matter of Russian military operations in Ukraine and the separatist movements in eastern Ukraine. Instead, Zelensky reaffirmed Ukraine’s commitment to defending its sovereignty against Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine. This stands in contrast to Putin's often pro-reconciliation statements towards Ukraine and the suggestion during a visit by his foreign minister in March 2016 that a compromise with Russia was possible if Ukraine adopted constitutional reforms proposed by the Kremlin.